As you approach Lake Chad, the air is dusty, and the sparse vegetation is broken only by shrubs. We mentioned the shrinking Lake Chad issue to Aïta but she had never heard of it. I took bits of straw, sticks, and leaves to explain that the Lake Chad she knows is disappearing.
I thought about the last few months. Fatigue, exhaustion, satisfaction, and relief. I felt happy just to have survived. It had been hard on my girlfriend Maeve and me -- but we grew stronger apart in some ways too. She was alone at home with her dog Daisy when I called from my tukul one night and asked her to marry me.
The dry hot season is going out and the cooler rainy season is coming in. Heavy showers have begun to fall and it is a relief for everyone. Starvation will hopefully ease. Yes, death is around us; but moreso, we are surrounded by life and survival. Day-in and day-out, this is the reality of our work here in eastern Chad.
Wednesday May 15 started early. I got up at 6 a.m. and took a cold refreshing shower. My mind was spinning with day ahead so I had not slept well. Before leaving, I scanned my email inbox to try to deal with a few urgent administrative and medical matters. Even at 7 a.m., the office was hot enough to make you sweat.
It is possible to think of Médecins Sans Frontières' (MSF) medical work like a scalpel, which we use during surgery. The sharp end is at the bedside with patients and families. It's the crucial end -- and nothing can replace it. But behind the blade is its attachment and then the handle from which to hold the blade. These parts are crucial too.
Ali is 36 years old and has been coughing for a long time. He has been coughing since at least 2006. I was called because it was suspected that Ali had multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. Médecins Sans Frontières is working with the Chadian Ministry of Health to aid patients like Ali.
Part of the experience of working with Doctors Without Borders is not just work but also taking a break. The work in the project site is seven days a week most of the time, but then after two months or so, we get a break in the capital city. I can't quite say my RnR was what I had intended.
The desperate man asked me in French, "Doctor, what about my brother?" Somewhere, in one of the rooms full of bloodied bodies lying on the ground, was this man's brother. A mass casualty incident had hit Am Timan hospital in chad. This man was looking for his brother amongst the 50 or so victims.
The Conservative government could have taken a much bolder stance on wildlife poaching, especially given the recent Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA). Canada has even more power to coerce China into bringing forth sweeping changes to it's treatment of animals and the environment.
The majority of our patients live. But sometimes they do not. Child survival in Chad is a day-to-day struggle. Many survive thanks to low-cost interventions like vaccination, proper nutrition, antibiotics, rehydration, blood transfusion and oxygen. Sadly, these interventions are available to too few.
Triplets (!) - two sisters and a brother were born a week ago. The sisters were born first and then came the brother. They do not yet have names, but their mother knows them apart needless to say. The...
I'm settled into the project now in Amtiman in southeastern Chad. Our project here serves a population who have few choices regarding where and when they can seek medical care. Jonas was brought to my attention by the community outreach workers. He was 30 days old and his mother said he was not breastfeeding and was convulsing.
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